Pikes Peek 10k Race Recap

This was such a great race! Sometimes it’s really nice to run a smaller, local race. There were only 3,000 runners and everything just seemed to go so much smoother with fewer people. It was also nice seeing a lot of familiar faces in the crowd. This was a complete last-minute decision, but all of a sudden I felt a burning need to race that weekend and this race seemed like perfect way to satisfy that need.

I was a little hesitant to run this race because of the chance of rain, which wouldn’t have been that big of a deal to me until R’n’R DC.  Now I kind of hate running in the rain. When I got up the forecast looked so much better and I was relieved.

IMG_6087Expo/Packet Pickup:

Packet pickup was at a small sport store right near my work. I had never even heard of it before but it’s good to know that it’s there now. I would’ve liked to have looked around a little more but I had my daughter in tow and she wasn’t in the best of moods at that time. It’s strange getting there and not already knowing your bib number. They have a list taped up in the window which is alphabetized by last name and you find your number from there. There was basically no wait at all which was great. As much as I love expos, sometimes I just want to get in and out quickly.

The Night Before:

I usually have my veggie pizza but my husband decided to grill which was great and full of protein. I had a veggie hot dog while he and my daughter had regular hot dogs. We also had potato salad and beans. I love beans so much! I think I could eat them everyday and for the most part I probably do. They are a good part of a vegetarian diet I think. I made my veggie dog Chicago dog style with mustard, relish, pickle, tomatoes and celery salt. It was tasty!

IMG_6086I had some difficultly deciding what to wear with the slightly cooler temps  and chance of rain originally. I actually got a little warm during the run once the sun came out so I probably would’ve been okay in short sleeves. So hard to predict these things!

Race Morning:

Another nice thing about this race was that it was only about a 10 minute drive from my house, which meant sleeping in! I got up with plenty of time to mess around and check my email. I had my usual PB & honey with bananas and cinnamon. Then was out the door. It started right at Shady Grove metro so there was a lot of free parking. The port-a-potties were all neatly lined up at the start. I met with some of the ladies from my MRTT group for a quick pic.

The corrals were self seeding, which was nice. I always seem to end up in a slower corral and spend the first mile wasting energy dodging around people.

The Race:

I was in the 2nd corral to go. It was funny how the course is mostly downhill but the first thing we did was run up a hill.

_MG_7082-LThe run itself was relatively uneventful. A girl that I know from my Thursday night Fleet Feet group was there volunteering and she cheered me on. There definitely wasn’t as much crowd support as there is with larger races.

When I run alone I always have music playing. I find it motivational but I don’t like the distraction during races so I leave the headphones at home. There was one point where I really could have gone for some music. Especially right at the starting line. Music helps to get me pumped up.

The end was right near the White Flint metro stop so it was easy to just hop on the metro back to Shady Grove. We received a key chain/bottle opener upon finishing.

IMG_6099They had the best breakfast spread that I have ever seen after a race! I don’t usually feel like eating anything other than a banana after I run, but this time I made an exception. I had scrambled eggs, hash browns and something that they called a breakfast souffle. It was all good. To top it off, there was fresh squeezed OJ which was amazing! They had this really cool machine that made it too. There was also pizza and pasta but I wasn’t feeling it that early in the morning.

IMG_6089IMG_6094Geico was there handing out some nice water bottles which I’m excited to use.

IMG_6096I didn’t go into the race expecting to PR but it’s still a little bit of a let down when you don’t PR on a PR course. My PR for the 10k is 46:58 which I set last year, a few weeks after I ran the Baltimore marathon. I was in great shape at the time. I’ll build back up to it and try again. I tried to push myself to run harder but just didn’t have it in me. Regardless, it was still a nice run and a great experience. I would recommend Pikes Peek and plan to run it again.

IMG_6100Did you run Pikes Peek this year?  Did you run another race this weekend?

Weekend Update #2

It’s Monday and this week I’m linking up with Tara for an edition of Weekend Update!  This is my 2nd time participating and I’m really enjoying it! Weekend-EditionFriday-

After work, we took Haylie to have some pictures taken. I don’t recommend taking a 1 1/2 year old for pictures. She had a great time but did not want to sit still for even a second. On the bright side, it certainly made it easier to pick out my favorites.

I did get a cute picture before we went. I had stopped to pick her up some new headbands so I had to try them out to make sure that they fit. I thought it was just the cutest picture! She’s so sweet.

After pictures, Haylie and I went to pick up my packet for the Pikes Peek 10k which I decided to do completely last minute.


I usually do laundry on Sunday but we had other plans so most of Saturday was spent doing laundry and chores. My husband worked on a few things around the house in preparation for selling it. Later he made hotdogs for dinner (veggie dog for me) with potato salad and beans. We love grilling whenever possible.


I got up early to prepare for the race. It went pretty well though I didn’t set a new PR or anything.

That afternoon we all went to a friend’s house for some BBQ! Haylie loved playing on the slide, swings and trampoline. We all enjoyed some yummy food.

How was your weekend? Did you run any races?

5 Blogs to Love


It’s the Friday Five with: Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney today! Today’s topic is 5 Blogs to Love.

Cake Wrecks– This was one of the first blogs that I ever started reading. It’s pastry related but good for a laugh. On Sundays the posts feature Sunday Sweets which are simply amazing cakes that I wish I was capable of making. I didn’t know that the cakes on Sunday were not wrecks when I first started reading, so I was really confused. I was sitting there thinking how great the cakes were and trying to figure out what was wrong with them.

The Cake Blog– This blog is also pastry related. It’s a good reference tool. I’ve gotten quite a few good recipes from here. They feature cakes and also have tutorials.

You Signed Up For WHAT?!– This was the first running related blog that I started reading. Cynthia is an awesome person! She runs and is a triathlete, all while working and raising 3 children. She is also the leader of my MRTT group. I seriously have no idea how she does it all! This is a great blog about fitness, training, healthy eating and much more.

Run Salt Run– Salt has also been a huge inspiration for me. She is a working mom who also runs and is amazing at yoga. She keeps it real by talking about her struggles as well as her success. I really like her sense of humor. I’d love to meet her in person one day! I’m also a little jealous of her shoe collection. 🙂

This Mama Runs For Cupcakes– Sue is a working mom who runs and bakes. I can definitely relate to her in that way. She just ran a marathon in Paris which sounds amazing! It’s always fun to hear about new workouts or clothing that she tries. Sue also likes Orange Theory! I hope to be able meet her one day as well!

Bonus: Fit Balling Running Mom – I met Tamieka through MRTT and she is such a wonderful person! She was my running solemate during a lot of my Baltimore training. We spent countless hours running and talking. She not only inspires me to be a better mother and person, but to push myself harder physically as well.

What’s your favorite blog?


Weekend Update #1

IMG_6016It’s Monday and this week I’m linking up with Tara for an edition of Weekend Update!  This is my 1st time participating and I’m excited to share my weekend with you all and to see what everybody else did as well.



So my weekend actually began Thursday afternoon this week. It’s a little slower at work this week so I was given Friday off. Yay! It’ll get busier soon enough so I’ll take a three day weekend whenever I can get it! Thursday afternoon my husband and I picked up our daughter from daycare and took her to the park for little while to enjoy the beautiful weather. IMG_6027IMG_6031Then I did my usual Fleet Feet run club 5 miler. I’m loving this warmer weather! I stopped on my way home to grab some dinner for us.


Not much exciting happened today. I was dragging a little so mostly I just played around with my daughter while my husband did the grocery shopping. Haylie is really loving this weather too. She is constantly saying that she wants to go outside. My husband made us a yummy dinner on the grill and also a fresh tomato, cucumber and onion salad.


I got up and got in a 6 mile run. It’s also nice that the sun is rising earlier again now. I passed this guy around mile 5 then happened to look back and see that he was trying to keep up my pace. We had a mini race and my last mile was my fastest, so that’s always exciting. I felt good afterward. Then we all went to the Outlets to get some clothes shopping. I got a few things to wear in Paris and Haylie got some summer jammies since her fleece winter ones seem way too heavy now. My husband was even able to find a few things that he liked. We enjoyed some lunch at Denny’s then went home so Haylie could get her nap time in. In the evening we played outside with the puppies. Everyone seemed to benefit from some fresh air.


I got up and headed to Orange Theory. This is my workout of choice on Sunday mornings. I didn’t go last week because of the Cherry Blossom race so the last time I was there was on Easter. There were quite a few more people in attendance today. The remainder of Sunday was spent washing laundry and other general household chores. I tried to go through Haylie’s clothes and pack up most of the heavier clothes or anything that’s too small. It’s crazy how fast she is growing up! All in all it was a pretty productive day.

How was your weekend? Are you enjoying this amazing weather?

5 Brands to Love


It’s the Friday Five with: Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney today! Today’s topic is 5 Brands to Love.

1. Nike. I love Nike! They have been around for a long time and have good quality products. I have a pair of Nike shoes right now and a few winter running hoodies. One is thermal and has a little hole, in the sleeve, where you can see your GPS watch through which I thought was pretty neat. The other is wool but it’s so soft and warm. I have some capris and shorts as well. All wonderful things that I hope will last a long time with proper care.

2. Brooks. I’ve been a big fan of Brooks’ shoes for years. I had been wearing the adrenaline but recently purchased a pair of the Ravennas. It turns out that Brooks also makes clothing, so I purchased a tank top and pair of capris to try out, both of which I love!

IMG_59033. Under Armour. When I seriously started working out/running Under Armour was my brand of choice and I still love their products. I’ve never tried their shoes but I love their clothing. They have fun and unique colors and patterns. I talked a little while back about my new favorite tights that I got in 2 colors because they were so awesome.

IMG_56054. North Face. I had never owned anything from North Face until this winter. Their clothing/jackets always seemed way too expensive for my taste. While they certainly are pricey, I can say that North Face will keep you warm. I bought a pair of fleece lined tights and a running jacket over the winter which are amazing. The jacket is also a wind breaker so it was perfect for the awful winter months.

5. Gap. I love Gap mostly for their tank tops. I found a style that I like and bought it in a ton of colors. They are lightweight, and so far seem to last. Gap is my go-to summer running tank top.

What’s your favorite brand?

Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run Race Recap

This was such a great race! I wish that my husband and daughter had been able to come watch but it’s a little early for my daughter to be up, plus she was a under the weather. My mom was able to come down for the race though so that was very nice! It’s always nice to have someone there supporting you and cheering you on.

Expo/Packet Pickup:

I decided to go the expo on Friday. I thought it might be better than waiting until Saturday. It didn’t open until 3:00 so I was a little afraid of getting stuck in rush hour traffic, which I did. It took me 2.5 hours to get home. Lesson learned, next time I’ll just metro. I was glad that I got there pretty early though because by the time I left, the line was starting to wrap around the outside of the building.

The expo was at the National Building Museum. I had never been there before, so I was surprised by how beautiful it was on the inside. I was able to pick up my packet and shirt without too much of a wait. Then I walked around for a little while to see if there was anything that I simply couldn’t live without.


The Night Before:

It was a pretty laid back night. We had the usual Wegman’s frozen veggie pizza for dinner so as not to mess with my routine and stomach. My mom was even surprised by how good the pizza was. I ran around trying to set everything out so as to not disturb my husband and daughter in the morning.


Race Morning:

I got up late! My alarm on my cell phone didn’t go off and I almost had a panic attack. I always allow way more time to get ready than I actually need because I cannot stand feeling rushed. Thankfully it was only a half an hour so I didn’t sleep through the race or anything. That has never happened before and I hope it never happens again. I’m just lucky that I’m a terrible sleeper, especially the night before a race, so I wake up about every hour or so to check the clock.

I tried to relax a little. It has been 3 whole weeks without coffee so getting up that early is more painful that usual. I made my ritual pre-race breakfast: PB & honey with bananas and cinnamon. Then I communicated with mother with hand gestures so the dogs wouldn’t hear us talking and begin to bark therefore waking up everyone in the house. We actually left right on time so I began to feel better.

The metro ride there was pretty uneventful. We got on the first train and arrived really early. In retrospect, we didn’t need to be there that early but again I live in fear of being late for a race. It was actually pretty nice getting there so early. I had time to use the bathroom in peace, without lines. Then my mom and I walked around looking at some of the monuments and watching the sun rise. It was a little chilly at the time but I knew that I would warm up as soon as I started running.


The Race:

I was a little bummed upon hearing that the race was going to be cut short because of an investigation but it only ended up being half a mile short as opposed to the 2 miles that I initially thought.

I eventually headed over to the corrals and found where I was supposed to be. I decided to work my way up a corral or two. I know I’m a rebel, but I felt that I was slotted in a slower corral than I should have been and I wanted to waste as little energy as possible navigating around other people. This ended up being a good decision.

It was a great race with wonderful crowd support and the weather was perfect! The cherry blossoms were also in peak bloom. I saw a table with Gatorade, Oreos and beer. I don’t think I could ever drink and run but I’m sure some people can. I think my favorite sign was “There’s no time for Walken” with a picture of Christopher Walken on it. I’m a Christopher Walken fan. He’s pretty awesome.

I’m not always great at pacing myself but, with the help of my trusty Garmin, I did pretty good. I was hoping to be able to run an 8:30 average pace for this race and I was able to do that. Some of my miles were faster and some slower but for the most part I was right where I wanted to be. I felt good too. I probably could’ve pushed a little harder but I didn’t want to. I was at a comfortable pace and it was a nice flat course. This race was all about the cherry blossoms and I really wanted to enjoy them. So I did just that. Sometimes you just need to slow down a little and enjoy life. I even took my first picture while running. I’ve never tried this before for fear for dropping my phone but I turned out pretty good.

IMG_5988I heard the announcer say my name as I crossed the finish line too. He mispronounced it but it was still cool. I’ve never heard my name being said before. I grabbed a bottled water with a cherry blossom label on it and a banana for me and my mom. Then I went over to the medal tent. I was hesitant to pay extra for the medal but was glad that I did. It was a beautiful medal.



We took a few pictures and headed back. The metro was more crowded on the way home but still not awful. I was excited and much for talkative than I had been at 5am. It felt good to get home and take a shower.

Overall it was a great race and you can’t beat the scenery! I highly recommend running it if you get the chance and I hope I’ll be able to run it again in the future.


Did you run Cherry Blossom (the ten miler or the 5k) this year?  Did you run another race this weekend?

Last Week Of Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Training

This week went so fast I can’t believe it! It was a pretty good week. I’m loving that the temperatures are continuing to rise.

Monday- Rest day.

Tuesday-4.2 miles @ 9:00 pace. It was 63 degrees with clouds and it felt great. I had almost forgotten what I felt like to be hot while running!

Wednesday-3 miles @ 10:00 pace. I took it really easy today. It was a bit rainy and I wasn’t feeling awesome. I did stray a little from my usually path and found a leap frog statue so that was pretty cool. IMG_5966Thursday- 5 miles @ 9:37 pace with Fleet Feet. It was a little cooler and supposed to rain again but overall not bad.

Friday- Rest day. I went into DC to the expo to get my packet. Traffic was amazing (insert sarcasm here).

Saturday- Rest day. We tried to go into DC again to get pictures with Haylie and the cherry blossoms but gave up because of traffic and parking. We still enjoyed the nice weather and got some frozen yogurt. Haylie loved being able to run around.

IMG_5979Sunday-Cherry Blossom 10 Miler! More on that later. It was a great race!

I’m keeping this pretty short and sweet this week since I’m super pressed for time right now, but I hope everyone had a great weekend! Stay tuned for my Cherry Blossom race recap. Happy Monday!

Did you see the Cherry Blossoms this weekend? Or did you race this weekend? Perhaps Both?

5 Trips


It’s the Friday Five with: Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney today! Today’s topic is 5 Trips. It’s funny, at first I thought this was going to be an easy topic but as I started going back through pictures to use for this post I realized that it would actually be difficult to narrow it down to 5. I’m always thinking about trips I want to take but I’ve already had so many great trips and I can’t wait to go to Paris in June! This was a fun post to write and reflect back on some really great times in my life. I wanted to start with Costa Rica because that was an amazing trip that I took with my mom when I was 16 but that was back in the day before iPhones and digital cameras so any pictures that I have would be in a photo album at my parent’s house.

1. San Antonio. It’s such a fun and beautiful city! It was only a few hours from where we lived in Texas at the time. The river walk is awesome! This seems like forever ago because it was taken when my husband and I had only been dating a few months. This summer we’ve been together for 12 years. Time really does fly!

DSCF00012. Cruise to the Bahamas. My husband’s (boyfriend at the time) step-father-in law took us all on a cruise and it was awesome. My only complaint was I wish it had been longer so that I could have gotten some sleep but we had so much fun. I’d love to go back to Atlantis one day.


This was a long drawn out fall on my part. My knee got injured but it was still hilarious. There also may have been drinking involved.
This was a long drawn out fall on my part. My knee got injured but it was still hilarious. There also may have been drinking involved.

3. Galveston. This was also only a few hours from where we lived in Texas at the time. Even though the weather always seemed dreary when we were there, I’m a sucker for being near the water. I also love to visit Rainforest Cafe while there.

100_2417100_24264. Orlando. I’ve actually been to Florida a few times. I went once with my family when I was in high school, then I went again with my high school marching band and once with just my mom when I was 21. They were all great trips. I love everything about that area from the parks to the weather being so much nicer than here. This trip was actually for an ICES (international cake exploration society) convention with a former boss of mine. I got to meet two of my cake decorating idols!

with Mike McCarey and Norm Davis
with Mike McCarey and Norm Davis

DSC000355. Ireland. There is so much to see and do in Ireland. I need to go back to see some more! It was nice too because a foreign exchange student that my family had in when I was in high school was living in Ireland at the time so I was able to catch up with him. We stayed in B&B’s, which I highly recommend, in Dún Laoghaire, Killarney, Dublin and Portrush.

DSC00758DSC00774DSC00840Bonus: New Orleans! Also so much fun and always lots of drinking involved. My brother and sister-in-law go every Easter so I’m wishing I was there right now. You never know what you’ll find there!

100_3231 100_1354I’ve also been to Charleston since a friend of mine was nice enough to move near there.

DSC01098My husband and I enjoyed trips to Atlantic City before our daughter was born. There was actually another cake convention in Atlantic City several years back that he and I went to with my friend Sam.

Sam and I with Bronwen Weber
Sam and I with Bronwen Weber

Baltimore. I always love trips to Baltimore, especially the aquarium since my daughter is slightly obsessed with fishies. DSCN2837

Oh I almost forgot to mention our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. All inclusive resorts are the best!


Ok I’m done. Sorry this post got away from me. Just so many wonderful memories and still lots more to come I’m sure. Thanks for reading!

What’s your favorite trip? Do you have a great upcoming trip?

Thinking out Loud

I’m linking up with Amanda for Thinking out Loud!


-The temperatures are finally starting to warm up and as of right now the weather for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler on Sunday looks great! The weather is a little dreary with lots of rain Wednesday and Thursday this week but I’ll take it. I’m so excited for this race! I remember how pumped I was just getting picked in the lottery for it. This was my first lottery race, so the waiting to find out if I got in or not was rough.

DSC00562-It is official! We ARE going to Paris in June! The plane tickets have been purchased. Another one to cross off the bucket list. It will be hard leaving my daughter for the first time but I also think it’ll be good for my husband and I to get away and spend a little time just the two of us. I can’t think of a better place for a little romantic/work getaway.

index-I also finally got to try those Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars this past weekend and they are great! Now I want to try more flavors, especially the sea salt caramel one.

-I got bored and hungry the other night and decided to make Peep s’mores for a snack. So good! Thankfully as a pastry chef I always have a torch around. Nothing like setting things on fire in your house. I’m just glad that the smoke alarm didn’t go off!

-I was thinking that if I am able to BQ one day, that it would be nice to be able to do it back home at the Presque Isle Marathon. It is so beautiful by Lake Erie and it’s a pretty small race so I think it would be perfect. Plus I wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel room! So that’s my plan. It won’t be this year but hopefully in the not too distant future.

Are you racing this weekend? Have you ever re-purposed Easter candy?

Weekly Recap: Cherry Blossom 10 miler Training (1 week to go!)

I had a few new fun things to try out this week. The Brooks Ravennas that I ordered finally arrived and I’m loving them so far! New shoes rock!

Overall it wasn’t the best week but I made it through. The warmer temperatures are definitely helping!

Monday- 3 miles on the treadmill. This would normally be my rest day but I decided to switch it out with Tuesday. I wanted to run outside but it felt pretty chilly and windy, and honestly I just didn’t feel like dealing with it.

Tuesday- Rest day. I had a hair appointment and since I hardly ever get my hair done I’m not usually in a rush to mess it up.

Wednesday- 6 miles @ 9:30 pace. It was a nice 54 degrees! Spring seems to finally be here and this was my first run in my new shoes.


Thursday- 3 miles @ 10:30 pace + deep water running. It was a beautiful day at almost 60 degrees but still pretty windy. I had the day off so I spent it with my daughter. I took her out for a run for the first time in months since it’s been so cold. I forgot just how much harder it is pushing her in the stroller while running and she has only gotten bigger since the last time. I had hoped to get in 5 miles but Haylie was getting impatient with me and not really enjoying it so I called it quits after 3 miles. I wanted her to have a good time too. So we walked around a bit and looked at duckies and turtles then went to lunch at First Watch. She is growing up so fast and wants to be independent now.

Usually I run with Fleet Feet on Thursdays but one of the moms from my MRTT group had organized a deep water running class so I thought that might be nice change of pace. I had a good time and the other moms are always so nice. I might experiment more with this in the future.


Friday- Rest day.

Saturday-6 miles @ 9:45 pace. It was 48 degrees but that wind was rough. It seemed that no matter which way I ran, I was running directly into the wind. I had planned to get 10 miles in today but that wind was killing me. I kind of wished that I had stuck it out but I know that I can run the 10 miles next weekend. I didn’t want to risk getting sick or anything. I am loving my new headband from FleurtyBands! It’s super cute and stays in place.

Later we went to a little Easter egg hunt at the high school by our house. Haylie was a pro!


Sunday- Orange Theory. It was strength day, so there was a lot of running uphill on the treadmill and heavy weight lifting. It was a good workout and I’m sure my arms will be sore tomorrow.

Have a wonderful week!

Did you try out any new workouts this week?